The idea started in a basement at Broad and Norris on Temple University’s Campus, where David Silver produced all kinds of music in his own house shows with his friends. Realizing that it is very expensive and difficult to create and make money off of your own art, he and William Toms created Rec Philly.
“So our whole business model is essentially like a gym but for artists,” says co-founder and Temple Alumn Silver. “Essentially creating a space and a community that provides the resources for creatives and entrepreneurs.”
Like a gym membership, members pay a monthly fee of $49 to use the space for their creation.
The business began in a building at 9th and Dauphin, but has just recently moved all of its operations and facilities to the new Philadelphia Fashion District mall. The new location’s doors just opened on Sunday December 4th, and will be holding its three day grand opening from December 12th to the 14th. Its space is operational to its members, but facilities are still being renovated and put together to be used.
The space at Rec Philly provides resources for any type of creator. Facilities include multiple music recording studios with instruments, an editing and design lab with Mac computers, a dance studio, a podcasting room, and an equipment supply office. There is a large common room where members can sit down and work, but also collaborate with the creativity of others. The seating can be cleared for a crowd of 250 people to enjoy concerts and music on the live event stage.
The front of the space features a retail store where members can sell clothes and other products that they create. The retail store does not have any doors or windows, but is totally opened up to draw in the foot traffic of the Fashion District.
Another Temple alumnus, Benjamin Thomas, has been the company’s audio engineer and audio consultant since it began in 2014. He believes that the space gives creators and entrepreneurs everything they need to reach the top in their field. “Just kind of figure out what your lane is and just get really really good at what you do. And when you get really good, opportunities come from that and I think the best way to do that is through a lot of practice. And a place like this gives you the opportunity to practice.”
Not only does Rec Philly gives members the technological tools to create, but also brings them together in a community where everyone collaborates and supports each others dreams. It is a space of networking and finding other people with abilities to help your goals but also people who you can help with theirs. In the two hours I spent at Rec Philly I talked to multiple people about their career goals, many of which were music or fashion design related. I got an Instagram, and talked to multiple Temple alumni. Everyone in the space was very friendly, talkative, and supportive of each others career goals.